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Day 15: I Am Victorious

Elevate 28 - A 28 Day Challenge to Intentionally Engage with God's Word


DAY 15

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Phillippians 4:13

TEACHING

"When You Feel Like Giving Up "

By Rachel Wojo, Proverbs 31 Ministries


Circumstances overwhelmed me and had begun to take a toll on my body as well. I knew God was with me; I’d known that since I was a child. But the perfect life had taken a wild detour, and I found myself in a very imperfect world. The alarm would sound any minute. It was time. Time to open my eyes, sit up and face another day. I started the inner pep talk immediately. Maybe today will be different. Things can’t get any worse. Well, maybe they can. No, God’s got this. I had this conversation in my head before my feet ever hit the floor a very imperfect world. The unexpected journey through divorce and losing my mom to cancer had been tough enough. Now looking ahead, my daughter’s label of "terminal disease" seemed bigger than God. In my desperation, I didn’t just pray: I cried to the Lord. I needed more than another sermon illustration. More than a checklist of do’s and don’ts. I really needed to know that God was not just near, but that He would get me through this. But how? My habit of reading the Psalms kicked in, and I fumbled to one of my favorites where today’s key verse can be found: "For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? — the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless." As I meditated on the verses, the phrase "who equipped me with strength" captured my attention. I found myself begging: Lord, I need the kind of strength only You can give. I need this equipping process, Jesus. Will You please help me? I dangled my feet over the side of the bed and continued reading. The Psalmist reflected: "You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip" (Psalm 18:36, ESV). The Holy Spirit prompted me through this reflection. That’s it! That’s what I need to remember! When I feel like giving up, I don’t have to comprehend the entire journey. I only need enough strength to take one more step. I can take comfort in the fact that God’s plan is always bigger and better than mine. Echoing the words of the psalmist, I whispered to God that the battle felt enormously overwhelming. I asked Him to equip me with strength only He can give (Psalm 18:39a). Finally, I moved my dangling feet from the bedside and placed them solidly on the ground, knowing His power would carry me through whatever came my way that day. Have you felt like giving up lately? Does the thought of seeing yourself on top of the mountain ahead seem too far-fetched to imagine? Let’s stop thinking about the vastness of the journey. Let’s recognize that when things seem out of control, God is always in control. He is with us, and giving us the strength to take one more step. Dear God, please equip me with strength for today. I know I can’t walk this journey on my own. I need Your spirit to infuse me with energy for the next step. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Rachel “Wojo” Wojnarowski is a dynamic author, speaker and Bible study teacher. The author of two previous ebooks, The Sensational Scent of Prayer and 12 Days of Christmas for the Hurting, Wojo’s writing is characterized by a deep compassion and understanding for broken hearts. Her ability to speak directly to the most vulnerable aspects of the human experience has contributed to the overwhelming success of her blog RachelWojo.com.






REFLECT & RESPOND


Group Activity - For All Ages:

1. Listen to and watch the music video, Victorious, by Third Day. Here is the link on youtube.com with lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHkFa8l9dQk

2. Have a group discussion about this song and talk about God being Victorious for us because of His great love for us!

For Very Young Children:

3. Listen to and watch the music video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHkFa8l9dQk , Kids Worship Songs: I Can Do All Things - Phil. 4:13. This is a song with video about doing all things through Christ who strengthens me! The clever rap along with melodic chorus will be fun for little ones to sing and dance to.

For 12 years and up (ideal for teens):

4. Listen to and watch the song with lyrics, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q07IcKh0dvQ, You Can’t Stop Me by Andy Mineo. This current sounding rap is a clean song about not being able to stop Christians glorifying God!

5. Have a discussion about this song - cover issues like:

  • How the song communicates Christians being victorious for God and Jesus?

  • Why it is important for us to be victorious as Christians?

  • What are things we can do to be victorious for God?

This activity was provided by the Teacher Love Project - a Why Not Charleston community education initiative. The Teacher Love Project aims to provide love and encouragement to teachers that will elevate their wellness and care and therefore, enhance student achievement.  We must care for those who care for our children - we must love each other because God loved us first.

"We love because he first loved us."

1 John 4:19

POWERFUL PRAYER


"When You Feel Like Giving Up”

by Rachel Wojo


Dear Jesus,

Sometimes the day can’t pass quickly enough…

While others fly by at lightning speed.

I can’t seem to keep up

With the pace of this world.

I’m tired,Lord.

My heart is weary and my spirit is weak.

I’m trying my hardest

To take the next step

To keep trying

To move on.

But between me and you, Lord,

I feel like giving up.

Help me remember the reason I began

Help me see the purpose behind Your plan

Provide the necessary grace

Keep me set upon Your face

To find strength for that next step

To discover faith to keep trying

To pause for this moment

And then move on.

In Jesus’ Holy name, Amen.

Rachel “Wojo” Wojnarowski is a dynamic author, speaker and Bible study teacher. The author of two previous ebooks, The Sensational Scent of Prayer and 12 Days of Christmas for the Hurting, Wojo’s writing is characterized by a deep compassion and understanding for broken hearts. Her ability to speak directly to the most vulnerable aspects of the human experience has contributed to the overwhelming success of her blog RachelWojo.com.






THRU THE LENS - FINDING YOURSELF IN GOD'S WORD

A blog by regular men and women about finding themselves in God's world


"Strength to Make A Choice"

By Anonymous


I grew up in less than ideal circumstances. I never really felt like I belonged or even wanted. My dad had remarried and he and my step-mom had two daughters. I loved my sisters, but, I often felt like an outsider looking in on a family.


At some point in my early teens, myself and friends began to use alcohol and marijuana as just something fun to do. Everyone was doing it. Very quickly I realized how much it “helped” with all of the sadness and hurt that i felt inside. I loved not feeling. To me-there was nothing better. I loved it so much-i spent the better part of the next 23 years - almost daily - numbing my feelings.

If you met me you would not suspect that I had a drug and alcohol problem.


I had been pretty successful at keeping that part of my life hidden. However, in 2006 things began to unravel. My husband was divorcing me. I an emotional wreck. I felt completely unloved and unwanted. Fortunately, I had a relationship with the Lord when i was younger. And in that despair I turned to back to the Lord.


I believe that it was the kindness of the Lord that he did not bring me to a place of conviction—regarding my substance abuse—early on. And for a while, i just thought that this is how it would always be. My life was getting better; i felt the love of God; things were good. And then one day it came. I remember to this day-where i was standing-my surroundings. I had been talking to God and I asked him-when would he restore my heart to wholeness. And then I heard words in my spirit that I never expected... “When you trust me enough to give up the marijuana”.


Those words have forever changed my life-and started me on a course of the cycle of sin... starting, stopping, the guilt, the shame, starting, stopping. The number one reasons why i would start again-was because I believed the lie-that said, “It’s not like you could really stop for the rest of your life—so, if you’re not-you might as well go ahead and get it over with-and do it now.”


Almost 4 years ago, I made the decision to get some help. Because I realized that nothing in my life was going to work until I dealt with this. It was there that I realized I had lost my ability to see that i actually had a choice in all of this. That I could choose yes or no. And I didn’t have to make the choice for the rest of my life- but, that i could make the choice in that moment or on that day... each day. And more than that-I had a Savior that was more than ready to be my strength and my helper.


I have been victorious over addiction because I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. And that strength has allowed me to say yes to God and no to sin.



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